Winners announced at IRTE Skills Challenge awards

30th Jul 2018

The most talented bus and coach technicians were recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony at Rockingham Motor Speedway in July.

More than 90 apprentices and fully-qualified technicians took part in the testing at S&B Automotive Academy in Bristol at the beginning of June, as the IRTE Skills Challenge expanded into a five-day event with new tests, categories and, of course, buses.

Harry Burns, James Woodhouse and Jamie Gardner of Trent Barton won the IRTE Outstanding Team award – Jamie also took home the award for Top Scoring Bodywork technician.

Jamie said: "We pushed each other as a team and we always try to work to a high standard. It was a good experience all round."

Kelsie Dugmore, part of the victorious Arriva UK Bus Outstanding Apprentice Team and individual winner in the DVSA Inspection Apprentice category, said: “It does feel great to win the DVSA Inspection Apprentice award after coming runner-up last year. I did actively strive to improve on that over the year, and I did some extra research on the new regulations and changes that have just come in.

“I like to think we are all role models for young people in engineering. The Skills Challenge is a great opportunity for people just joining the trade or from other trades to see what they could achieve. “If young women see myself, Pamela Chapman (winner in 2015) and other female engineers competing, and this inspires them to go into a career in engineering, then that is fantastic!” said Kelsie.

Presented by Transport Engineer Editor Will Dalrymple – and joined by special guests Howard Seymour, SOE President, DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewelyn and former Transport Commissioner Beverley Bell – the ceremony featured a key-note speech from Keith McNally, Operations Director at CPT UK.

SOE Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Moir, said: “The awards lunch is a celebration of engineering excellence in the bus and coach sector. Next year we will be aiming even higher.”

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